Poachers in Sarawak boast about their Kills on Facebook. For Shame

Poachers in Sarawak boast about their Kills on Facebook. For Shame

You might think that Malaysian authorities’ stepped-up efforts to clamp down on poachers and wildlife traffickers have these wrongdoers on the run. Poachers and traffickers are cowering in fear of arrest, doing all they can to remain undetected. Right? Wrong. Some of the poachers clearly don’t give a hoot about…

Tiger poachers are Nabbed in Sumatra

Tiger poachers are Nabbed in Sumatra

Sumatran tigers are much like their Malayan cousins: they’re rare, majestic … and critically endangered in the wild. They share another thing in common: they’re frequently targeted by poachers. A case in point: Acting on a top-off, Indonesian authorities arrested two men for allegedly trafficking in the body parts of…

Hundreds of rare Tortoises from Madagascar are Discovered at KLIA

Hundreds of rare Tortoises from Madagascar are Discovered at KLIA

Another day, another seizure of exotic animals smuggled surreptitiously into Malaysia. This time alert customs officials seized 330 tortoises flown into Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which has been serving as a favored destination for international smuggling syndicates. Acting on a tip-off, Malaysian officials discovered 325 Indian radiated tortoises and five ploughshare tortoises packed into…

Malaysian Officials must Stay Vigilant in the Face of rampant Trafficking

Malaysian Officials must Stay Vigilant in the Face of rampant Trafficking

Malaysia is a major gateway for international wildlife traffickers into Southeast Asia. We’ve long known that, of course, but just in case here is a reminder: The country, which boasts one of the most biodiverse but also most threatened environments on the planet, is “the world’s paramount ivory transit country, with its ports serving…

Rhino Horns continue to be Smuggled into Malaysia and Southeast Asia

Rhino Horns continue to be Smuggled into Malaysia and Southeast Asia

The shipment this time was from Mozambique, via Doha in Qatar, and consisted of 18 rhino horns. Alert Malaysian authorities at Kuala Lumpur International Airport managed to seize the horns, which amounted to 51.5kg and would have been worth almost RM14 million on the black market. Acting on a tip, Malaysian customs officers conducted a search of…

Time to get Tough on Animal Trafficking

Time to get Tough on Animal Trafficking

When even seasoned experts are taken aback by the scale of wildlife trafficking across Malaysia, you know we’re in trouble. Yet taken aback experts are at TRAFFIC, an international anti-trafficking watchdog. And rightfully so. Recent arrests of several wildlife traffickers by Malaysian authorities have provided further evidence (not that any more was…

Peacocks lose out to Traditional Medicine

Peacocks lose out to Traditional Medicine

Peacocks are flamboyantly ostentatious birds with giant iridescent tails of blue, green, gold and red that they deftly employ in courtship displays. Unfortunately for the birds, their flashy tail feathers have also caught the eyes of people. Peacocks have long been hunted as trophies and kept as pets. Sadly, the birds are…

Malaysian Officials rescue Scores of Animals from the Exotic Pet Trade

Malaysian Officials rescue Scores of Animals from the Exotic Pet Trade

Another five are down. Wildlife traffickers, that is. In five separate clampdowns on wildlife trafficking in later February, Malaysian authorities seized large numbers of endangered animals from wildlife traders, all of whom will be facing charges under the country’s Wildlife Conservation Act 2010. In one operation Department of Wildlife and…

Sniffing out Wildlife Traffickers

Sniffing out Wildlife Traffickers

Wildlife traffickers tend to be a wily lot. Routinely they can easily avoid wildlife and customs officials by hiding their ill-gotten merchandise of ivory and rhino horns in well-concealed packages. Enter canine wildlife guardians. With their acute sense of smell, which is a thousand times stronger than that of humans, so-called detector dogs are…

‘Most Wanted’ elephant Poachers have been Caught in Kelantan

‘Most Wanted’ elephant Poachers have been Caught in Kelantan

Seven elephant poachers who were labelled “most wanted” by authorities in Peninsular Malaysia are at large no more: they’ve been arrested and are now behind bars. In a joint operation between the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) and the country’s Armed Forces, a gang of seven local suspected poachers was caught near the Taman…

Online Wildlife Trade is being ‘Rolled Back,’ but Challenges Remain

Online Wildlife Trade is being ‘Rolled Back,’ but Challenges Remain

A lot of wildlife trafficking in Malaysia takes place in the laissez-faire milieu of the cyber world, where traffickers have taken to hugely popular social media platforms like Facebook to buy and sell protected and endangered species in wanton abandon. Yet if Fakhrul Hatta Musa, deputy director of Wildlife and National Parks Department…

Poachers and Ivory Smugglers must be Stopped

Poachers and Ivory Smugglers must be Stopped

They’re a persistent lot, are they not? Wildlife traffickers, that is. Malaysian authorities have been stepping up their efforts to clamp down on international smuggling networks that use the country as a regional transit point for the trafficking of ivory from Africa. That, though, has clearly not deterred ivory-smuggling syndicates. And so 2017 has started pretty…

Wildlife Crime: an ‘Existential Threat’

Wildlife Crime: an ‘Existential Threat’

Wildlife crimes and corruption routinely go hand in hand. For starters, without certain officials willing to turn a blind eye to rampant trafficking (for kickbacks and other rewards), traffickers would have a much harder time. But the problem can go much deeper than that. A pervasive culture of bribery, money laundering and institutionalized…